This year, I had the incredible opportunity to travel across the world with Dustin ( The Bison & the Bird ) to the country of Jordan! Where we got to document a one-of-a-kind elopement! When Caitlin and Joel contacted me back in early 2017, I couldn't believe my luck! It was one of those wedding inquiries you don't want to talk about until its officially booked, out of fear of jinxing it! Like every child of the 80's, I grew up watching the Indian Jones movies over and over and dreamt of one day visiting the amazing sandstone temple featured in, "The Last Crusade." Being there in person exceeded every expectation I had of the beautiful place. You can't help but feel inspired by the ingenuity of those that built the place, it is simply amazing!
Caitlin and Joel wanted to have a unique elopement and they for SURE accomplished that goal! Having your wedding ceremony in front of the famous Petra Treasury is no easy task. As it is one of the most famous historic sites in the middle east, you can't just book it for the day. However, you can book it at night after all the tourists go to bed! Several nights a week, a special "Petra by Night" is held in front of the treasury where local guides lead a special service lit by candles. Once everyone was gone, we finally had the majestic place all to ourselves and were able to have a ceremony deep in the canyon. I'll be honest, it was the hardest ceremony I have ever photographed. It was virtually pitch black and the candles on the ground did almost nothing to illuminate the bride and groom. Luckily, the staff at Petra let us use their big spotlights to light up the treasury and Joel had brought his own mini spotlight, which I used to light the bride and groom. Other than these, I used a small handheld light which I covered with a piece of paper from one of the candle bags to light their faces when I got close. I decided against using flash as it ruined the ambiance of the candlelit ceremony. Even though it was difficult to shoot this elopement, it will forever be placed in my mind as an amazing experience! I chose to highlight the portraits from this trip rather than the ceremony, simply because the ceremony was shot in the dark and it doesn't reflect how amazing the location is. Click here to see some shoots from their ceremony!
The day after the elopement we got up before sunrise and headed back down to the treasury so we could take pictures before the place was flooded with tourist! We got lucky and there were only one or two other people on site while we were shooting. We started out in front of the treasury and then headed up a steep hike in order to get an overlook from the top of the cliffs! It was truly a unique and wonderful experience and I would highly recommend a trip to Petra if you ever visit Jordan!
Later that afternoon, we jumped in our cars and headed down to the famous Wadi Rum Desert! Wadi Rum was by far my favorite location of the trip. This is a place that pictures just can't do justice to. Everything is large and expansive and it was super cool to see the locals living their day to day lives in such a unique place. I knew I wanted to do something special in this area so I booked an over night excursion deep into the desert with a local guide. They took us out in old safari jeeps where we met with another guide to shoot with the camels! Camels are by far the easiest animals I have yet to shoot with. It was as if they wanted to have their pictures taken and would pose for the shots! The best part of the Wadi Rum experience was the overnight stay we did in the Bedouin Camp. We had dinner prepared in the traditional style and slept under the stars. It was an amazing experience to say the least!
I couldn't share all the pictures from our trip but I hope this post will serve to show brides that their wedding doesn't have to be the expected. It can be an epic adventure to the unknown, full of excitement and one-of-a-kind memories! Just remember to bring me along to capture it all for you! A huge thank you to Caitlin and Joel for trusting me with such a cool and unique wedding! It was truly an honor to be your photographer!
Now before you look at my images, make sure and watch this highlight video produced by The Bison & the Bird! Dustin did an amazing job on this one! I think it might be my favorite out of all he has ever created!